Dundee United 1 Motherwell 1

Last updated : 25 August 2002 By Firparkcorner

New away strip on show
The 1-1 draw will be more pleasing for us than Dundee United. Not only were we the team hanging on at the end, the result leaves United without a win from their four opening games.

We made a brilliant start to the match and took the lead with our first real attack. Stevie Hammell’s corner was headed on by a combination of players and found it’s way to the feet of Stephen Pearson. Pearo made no mistake from close range to net his third goal in our last three games.

It took a brilliant save from Paul Gallagher to deny Keith Lasley from doubling our lead although had Derek Adams played his pass in front of Keith rather than slightly behind, he probably would have scored.

Pearo (lurking at the back post) scores from this corner
At this time, Dundee United were looking absolutely abysmal. Their only effort in the first half was when Stevie Woods was energetically challenged in the air but a foul was awarded against the attacker. Gallagher was called into action yet again to save a Lehmann header but the crucial second goal was more likely to have been delivered if Dirk had heard Pearson shout from behind him.

It was only 1-0 at half time and the players and fans had to be happy with the solid performance that had been delivered. Our close passing, especially on the left wing, was a joy to behold. The one worrying thing was that Dundee United surely wouldn’t be as woeful after the break.

Our worst fears were confirmed when United came out and equalised within seconds of the restart. The ball was crossed from the right and Jim McIntyre arrived unchallenged to score a slightly fortuitous leveller. The ball was bouncing at an awkward height, McIntyre made a bad connection but did enough to deceive Woods who managed to turn the ball on to the inside of the post on its way in.

Dundee United had their tails up and McIntyre came close to giving them the lead. He beat the defender to a cross and Woods may or may not have touched the ball before it smacked off the post.

United had much the better of the second half but we did manage to slow things down a little. McFadden laid the ball off to Leitch in the box but our captain blazed over when a goal looked certain.

Sadly our return into the game was all too brief and United were soon applying the pressure again. McIntyre bulleted a header straight at Woods and when the keeper was caught in no man’s land, Thompson hit the post and then sclaffed the rebound wide.

Both sides made changes with that Icelandic guy (think I’m spelling that? Ha…) coming on for them while we gave Ferguson a debut from the subs bench. Ferguson is with us on a three months deal and has both Spurs and East Fife on his cv. He looks to have a lot of pace but it would be unfair to judge him whilst we were so heavily under the cosh.

Our new striker
The game drifted to a close with Woods holding two free kicks from similar positions. We had the first half while they had the second. If we’d scored a second in the first half it would have been game over. Then again, if the game had last another ten minutes, we would have struggled to hold on. It gave Terry Butcher the chance to us the immortal line ‘It was a game of two halves’. He also revealed that the players were disappointed to only take one point.

The draw keeps us moving away from the relegation zone and we have another good chance to pick up points at home to Hibs next week.